Move on Up

Move on Up

Singer/songwriter Curtis Mayfield's legacy is enormous. As the leader of the Chicago-based Impressions, he recorded some of the finest gospel-soul vocal group music of the 1960s. As a solo artist in the 1970s, he helped pioneer funk, as well as introducing raw social commentary into popular music. An excellent guitarist, he was a key architect of his home town's brand of psychedelic soul, writing for Gene Chandler, Jerry Butler and Major Lance and later producing material for The Staple singers and Aretha Franklin. <I>Move On Up--The Best of</I> is an 18-track anthology of this inventive soul auteur's greatest material. The songs are compiled from most of his finest albums, including <I>Roots</I>, <I>There's No Place Like America Today</I>, <I>Back To The World</I> and <I>Sweet Exorcist</I>. Mayfield's irrepressible falsetto vocals, uplifting melodies and fabulous funk-pop arrangements gave all his material an elegant strength that few others could have achieved. Socially aware, dirtily funky and, above all, sonically inventive, Mayfield's crowning achievement was his superlative soundtrack for the blaxploitation movie <I>Superfly</I>. <I>Move On Up</I> features four of the original tracks--"Superfly", "Freddie's Dead", "Pusherman" and "Futureshock"--but also tracks his career from early songs like " If There's A Hell Below, We're All Gonna Go", the inspirational title track and "We, People Who Are Darker Than Blue". All, in all, this is a compelling showcase for the artistry of one of America's truly great soul singers. --<I>Reuben Dessay</I>